Centre plans longer hours

A charitable trust is hoping to extend the opening hours of its new visitor centre to meet demand and expand its use. The centre at Whitlingham Country Park, on the outskirts of Norwich, opened in April after years of planning.

A charitable trust is hoping to extend the opening hours of its new visitor centre to meet demand and expand its use.

The centre at Whitlingham Country Park, on the outskirts of Norwich, opened in April after years of planning.

Now the Whitlingham Charitable Trust has submitted an application to South Norfolk Council to extend the hours of opening to 10pm during the summer and 8pm in the winter. It is currently open until 6pm all year round.

The £1.6m facility was developed in a disused flint barn to provide a gateway to the Broads.

It has been designed to boost visitor numbers and is used as a base for independent and guided tours and a focus for information and large-scale exhibitions.

It also includes space for park officers and an RSPB education officer.

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Chairman of the charitable trust, David Adler, said the longer opening hours were the result of demand.

"We are thrilled with the centre.

"People want to do drinks parties, evening events and meetings.

"It's clearly proving very popular, which is great."

He added: "We are looking at ways of making it available to people.

"It's a magnificent facility for Norwich."